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Mountain biking isn't like road biking. Spending more on your bike won't earn you the respect of your peers.
It will if your peers are the people who have recently piled into the sport, you know, the typical yuppies whose reason for buying anything is to impress other yuppies and the only criteria for something being better is price.
 

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EAT MORE GRIME
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you want high end, you go SCOTT, and go big.

bring your wallet, and leave it behind.

otherwise get top of the line Giant, or Trek, or Specialized.

Reason I am leaving out the others ? the warranty matters when you are paying over ten grand for a bike, and these guys have awesome warranties.
 

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you want high end, you go SCOTT, and go big.

bring your wallet, and leave it behind.

otherwise get top of the line Giant, or Trek, or Specialized.

Reason I am leaving out the others ? the warranty matters when you are paying over ten grand for a bike, and these guys have awesome warranties.
So Scott is higher/better then the others? Which Scott trail-bike would you recommend?
 

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EAT MORE GRIME
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So Scott is higher/better then the others? Which Scott trail-bike would you recommend?
doesn't matter what I recommend, at all.

go find what bikes are keeping professional racers in the game...go get those bikes
 

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I wonder if it makes sense to ask
what car brand would you recommend without any reference to budget?

let’s say you want a new stock car for autocross
which is best?
is that easy to answer without knowing the budget?
 

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Trail Ninja
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My opinion on brands:

Santa Cruz focuses a lot on long-lasting MTBs. They're the type you buy and then sort of shut yourself off from magazines, forums, and other media/news sources that get you to try the latest and greatest incremental performance tweaks. They generally are reluctant to sell bad mountain bikes, having a relatively high standard as mtb enthusiasts.

Yeti is known for perfecting their idea of the ultimate "trail bike". They're racy. One ride on one and it'll give you that "dating a supermodel" feel. Pricey, and deserving of spoiling (given quality love, care, and other attention). Under a normal rider, prob not really that much faster than another brand, but the bike by itself will get a lot of envious looks, with the rider seen as a lucky bastard.

There's a theme here, that if you don't split your attention across dozens of different disciplines, giving more of that attention to a few select products, you get a more refined product.

Ibis has sort of a compliant and lively feel like Specialized, but a bit more of a solid premium feel with more focus on the MTB realm.

Pivot is similar, with a premium stiff/precise Trek-like hard-charging ride feel, with development focused on high-performance FS MTB.

The premium feel is one of extra responsiveness and higher predictability. It's like the difference between a lazy pig and a well-trained dog that is anticipating your commands. It feels like it scoots forward with more vigor, even though it might not be going faster in terms of average speed--that feel can feel rewarding, encouraging the rider to be more active and more intense/forceful. On the flip side, some may find the "pig-like" feel to be smoother.

Niner has a sort of a more premium Giant-like plush easy-rider feel. They're not as highly regarded as SC, Yeti, Ibis, and Pivot since they've sold crappy entry-level bikes that no spoiled MTBer (like me) would be satisfied riding serious mtb on. The existence of a high-end range doesn't matter when ignorant beginners seeking recommendations are likely to go with a lower-cost option...

This is a common theme, where brands can't be recommended since there's some crap in their line-up that only an ignorant beginner would be stoked on. For example, Marin has a few hot picks for BMXer-turned-MTBer. Their hot models are simple, have good value with performance coming from good geo. Discerning MTB enthusiasts hate to say it but would advise staying away from certain models in their line-up. Since they hate to say it, they'd sometimes avoid bad-mouthing by not suggesting the brand in the first place.

Since there's no real bad picks from SC, Yeti, Ibis, etc., they're easy to recommend as brands (can't go wrong with ___). You'd have to be willing to read thick posts full of nitty-gritty to judge by other brands. Just not wise to judge by brand anyways. Spec as a brand has a lot to dislike, but even some of the pickiest MTBers would not mind riding some of their top MTB picks (e.g. Stumpy Evo, Enduro), liking some of the unique features like SWAT.

Rent, demo, or test ride everything you can get the opportunity to learn the differences. In the end, actual ride experience is the best way to personalize your choices to your own preferences. Don't just judge based on paper, or have blind faith from recommendations, else you'll be paying $3000+ for lessons in geometry, suspension, frame material, wheel size, brand choice...
 

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I would buy a chromag frame and build it myself. Then two years from now you can sell the frame and get a full squish if you grow tired of the greatest hardtail in the world.
 

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1. A high end mountain bike might not win the respect of your riding buddies but you might win some envy. Maybe.

2. Are Scott Bikes really all that? Around here I see Scott as the MTB brand for roadies who are crossing over.

3. Is autocross still a thing?
 

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Out spokin'
In cog? Neato!
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2. Are Scott Bikes really all that? Around here I see Scott as the MTB brand for roadies who are crossing over.
That’s the way I always felt about the Scott brand, too. I rarely bump into anyone that has one out here... and whenever I do, they’re typically a mountain biker second. Not knocking the Scott brand or anything, just relating my personal experience.
=sParty
 

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always licking the glass
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Huffy’s distribution and return policy is hard to overlook. Plus their leading retail channel will honor your layaway.
And they don’t care about your credit card games and have plenty of supply :) Close this thread, the answer is here! Huffy!

Now back to hookers and blow.
 

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I'm going to try to be constructive for our roadie friends. Unlike road frames, full suspension frames are very different from brand to brand. Suspension design, even if it's the same family of design (4-bar, dw-link, vpp, hsp) can vary greatly depending on a ton of tuning variables. It's all a massive pain the ass to figure out.

Price rarely indicates anything other than marketing.

Every time a roadie says his carbon road bike feels supple an angel grows wings I swear to god.
 
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